HOLMES AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES—Attorney General Ashley Moody announced more than $2 million in recoveries for Florida consumers regarding cancellations, purchases and scams related to COVID-19. The Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline remains active and the office’s Consumer Protection Division is still assisting consumers and reviewing complaints related to price increases on commodities essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and other concerns related to the pandemic’s impact on consumer transactions.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Floridians have dealt with many challenges during this pandemic. Many are struggling financially and that is why I am glad to announce that our Consumer Protection Division has recovered more than $2 million dollars for consumers.
“These efforts would not be possible without the help of the many Floridians who contacted our office. Our team is still assisting consumers with extreme price increases for commodities and services related to COVID-19. We will continue to work diligently to stop those exploiting this health crisis to target Floridians.”
In addition to recovering more than $2 million, the Attorney General’s Office:
Received approximately 5,300 consumer contacts about the price of essential commodities;
Made more than 10,000 referrals and contacts to merchants about allegations of price gouging, refunds and scams;
Issued 107 subpoenas to further price gouging investigations; and
Worked with online platforms to deactivate 258 posts offering items for outrageous prices.
Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per violation, up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period and additional penalties for violations of other applicable laws. For more information on price gouging, please click here.
Price gouging can be reported by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or downloading the NO SCAM smartphone app. The app is also available in Spanish.
Since the COVID-19 emergency declaration, Attorney General Moody has issued Consumer Alerts with information about emerging scams and tips to avoid fraud. To view the latest alerts and to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 related scams, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Alert webpage
This article originally appeared on Washington County News: $2 million in recoveries for Florida consumers